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Maciej Sieńczyk: Adventures on a Desert Island

Posted: September 14, 2014

When an admiring woman dares to touch a man with extremely active glands, she finds that he sweats pure fat. Female corpses rise from their graves because they have been buried without their bras. Once a century, the ‘Bread Man’ walks the earth to shame those who fail to kiss a dropped crust. Tall tales from a well-thumbed found journal recording Adventures on a Desert Island are among some two dozen stories which fill Polish writer-artist Maciej Sieńczyk’s graphic novel of the same name.

His main protagonist sets off on a gigantic liner bound for Johannesburg but ends up shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Sieńczyk explains, “I like the idea of the ‘inner journey’, when a character’s journey is a pretext for the presentation of his spiritual world.” Read the rest of my new Article here…

Moebius Exhibition in Paris

Posted: September 14, 2014

Achat Design at 3 avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris are working with the Galerie Moebius and hosting an exhibition of Moebius’s sublime artworks from September 18th to October 31st. As their announcement states, “Come and discover or rediscover his artworks full of poetry and colours, mixing humour, fantasy and science fiction. Enter the universe of Moebius…”

Enter These UK & International Comics Competitions!

Posted: September 12, 2014

One of the challenging but rewarding comics activities I am involved with is helping to judge comics competitions. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and these contests and talent-hunts are a great way to get your work noticed and take an important step towards being published. Have a go and don’t give up, keep trying!

There’s still time till September 27th for UK residents to enter your 4-page comics to this years Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize. There is no theme, so it’s wide open. Best of luck! The winner will be announced and presented with their cheque for £1,000 at Comica Festival 2014 this coming October/November. The winning entry will be printed in The Observer and on their website.

Thanks to the Embassy of Japan in London, UK-based comics creators have until November to enter the 2014 Manga Jiman contest. This time it is on the theme of ‘Once In A Lifetime’. Prizes includes two plane tickets to Japan!

And the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has announced its second International Comics Competition “Animate Europe”, on the futuristic theme of ‘Europe Fast Forward’. It’s open to anyone anywhere in the world, as demonstrated by last year’s excellent entries from countries far and wide, inside and beyond Europe itself. The first stage is to propose your 8-page comics and submit the very first page only. Have a bash at these and other competitions I list and link on my Things To Do page -  you never know but you’ve gotta be in it to win it!

Roz Chast On Gil Roth’s Virtual Memories Podcast

Posted: September 9, 2014

The witty and wise New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast talks about her moving new autobiographical graphic novel, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant (Bloomsbury), in the latest instalment of Gil Roth’s online interviews at Virtual Memories. Listen and enjoy ‘Podchast - Parental Guidance’!

Charles Burns Exhibition & Guest Appearance in Nérac, France

Posted: September 8, 2014

The coming weekend of October 3rd to 5th kicks of this year’s Rencontres Chaland, an annual jubilee for the brilliant French comics artist Yves Chaland in various venues and on the street of his hometown of Nérac. And this year’s Guest of Honour, himself a huge admirer of Chaland, is Charles Burns. Here’s his poster for the festival and for his one-man exhibition, one of six running till November 8th. Get there if you can!

Keiichi Tanaami: Manga and Pop Art

Posted: September 7, 2014

The most vivid childhood experiences can implant indelible impressions. In the case of Keiichi Tanaami, born in 1936 in Tokyo, they were enough to fuel a lifetime of diverse, determined self-expression in a wide range of media, from psychedelic Pop art paintings and experimental animation to designing the Japanese editions of Playboy (‘Wonder Girl’ spread from 1968, below) and record albums by Jefferson Airplane and The Monkees. Some of Tanaami’s sharpest memories have haunted him since the Second World War. As a boy he witnessed and survived the American air raids which decimated the capital, their firebombs lighting up the night sky and shimmering through his father’s goldfish tank. These distorted, brightly coloured creatures have become one of his recurrent symbols. Read the rest of my article, Tanaami-sensei’s new piece for ArtReview Asia & Web-Exclusive interview here…

Books To Read: Best Graphic Novels November 2014

Posted: September 2, 2014

For my latest advance monthly recommendations for November 2014, the creators and their styles and subjects come not only from the USA and UK but also from as far afield as New Zealand, Lebanon, Korea, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Japan and France. I’m singling out for special mention that rarest of sightings, a new graphic novel from Dylan Horrocks, his exuberant and philosophical gem Sam Zabel And The Magic Pen. Here’s what Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?, has to say about it:

Sam Zabel and the Magic Pen is a tour de force. There’s something very pure about Dylan Horrocks’ comics. That’s perhaps an odd word to describe this book which is so much about desire. But Horrocks’ line and his imagination both seem to flow freely and directly from some primal source. If you’ve ever wished that Hergé had written comics for grown-ups—gorgeously drawn and playful adventures that explore the serious anxieties of midlife—your wish has come true, and then some.”

Which title will be your pick of the litter this time? There’s plenty to look forward to here from around the globe and on your doorstep, so enjoy investigating these upcoming titles and stretching your comfort zone! Check out my PG Tips here…

Watch Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson

Posted: August 29, 2014

In this centenary year of her birth, BBC iPlayer are repeating the wonderful documentary about Tove Jansson, world-reknowned for creating the much-loved Moomins. There are still five days left to watch or re-watch this revealing documentary, Moominland Tales: The Life Of Tove Jansson, which I was honoured to play a modest part in.

Save 10% Off Lakes Comic Art Festival Tickets!

Posted: August 29, 2014

With less than 2 months to go, things are really gathering pace for the 2nd Lakes International Comic Art Festival in Kendal on October 17th to 19th 2014. Guests include Eddie Campbell, Becky Cloonan, Scott McCloud, Gail Simone, Jeff Smith, Barbara Stok, Joost Swarte and many more! The organisers are currently offering 10% off all tickets. Simply enter the code COMIC14 when prompted at the checkout. This promotion ends on 31 August and tickets are selling out fast.

Viz Unmasked At Lakes Comic Art Festival Fringe!

Posted: August 28, 2014

Viz stalwarts Graham Dury and Simon Thorp’s The Fat Slags loiter with intent in what looks suspiciously like the same King’s Cross alleyway as Jamie Hewlett’s Lawless Nelly, in their cheeky parody of the Comics Unmasked poster for the British Library’s hugely successful exhibition. This is the poster for Viz Unmasked, a Fringe exhibition at the Lakes Comic Art Festival in Kendal over the weekend of October 17th to 19th. Not to be missed!

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